A Letter to Nurses and Doctors
Dear coworker, companion, or MD,
I think you are so brave.
I really do. I admire you so much. I see you looking away, being bashful, even now. This line of work always makes us feel like you don't measure up. It has a way of making you feel like, everyone else is the hero, but you couldn't be one. In fact, if you are like me, you feel so far away from a superhero. You probably feel broken, beaten down, or discouraged, unworthy, not good enough.
But know that you are enough- just because you showed up. The fact that you are still working proves how strong and invincible you are. You may be afraid daily, you may have anxiety, but you are still here. You are still doing your best to take care of people. For that, you deserve to be thanked. For the one hundred thank you's that your patients never spoken after you worked your tail off to serve them, hear me say thank you. And let it count for them. They didn't see the work you did, but I saw, and it was not in vain.
The medical world today is brutal in so many ways. Hospitals are unsafe in many ways. And there are many expectations of what nurses and doctors are supposed to do and what we are supposed to be like. The bars have been raised high. And there is no room for error. No tolerance for any kind of a mistake or slip up. That kind of environment creates anxiety. It creates fear.
There are so many sick patients. The amount of patients you are expected to take care of in a shift keeps increasing, and yet the needs the patients' have doesn't get diminished. Patients' are facing some of the worst days of their life. They are dying, they are angry, they are in pain. Patient's often yell at you, to try to get what they need. Patient's often take their anger out on you. But it's not you. You are just the body in the middle. It's not your fault... the anger, the hurt, the grief.
The loss is not your fault. I see you doing CPR in the corner. I see the Rapid the responders took too long to respond too. You kept giving, you kept trying, but it wasn't enough. The patient didn't make it. And to outsiders' they may think it was your fault. But I know, you gave everything you had to give. This loss is not your fault. It's not your lack of knowledge. You needed more resources, needed more support, needed more time... it wasn't meant to be.
You are doing a good job and your work is enough. I see the way you care for your patients' even when you are sick or don't feel good yourself. I see you showing up tired, worn down, and yet smiling anyway. You are brave and you are the strongest people that I know. Thank you for risking your life for others and choosing to put others' first. You are making a difference.